Cook County Judge Orders Chicago Police Union President John Catanzara to Stop Making Public Comments Against COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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John Catanzara, Chicago Fraternal Order of Police president, says the vaccine mandate policy ‘doesn’t make any sense’ and explains why he is asking officers not to report their vaccination status. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Cook County Judge Cecilia Horan ordered Police Union President John Catanzara on Friday, October 15, 2021 to stop making public statements that encourage police officers not to comply with the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate via social media or on traditional media until a hearing scheduled October 25, 2021. Judge Horan ruled that the City of Chicago had shown that Catanzara’s comments on YouTube, Fox News and on Twitter likely threatened public safety. Mike Warner, representing the City of Chicago, accused Catanzara of engaging in “sedition and mutiny.”

The City of Chicago had requested a court order to stop the union (Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7) and Catanzara from blocking the city’s vaccine mandate with illegal threats of a strike or work stoppage. Judge Horan rejected the city’s demand to issue a temporary restraining order against the union itself, because the order could not be enforced. Judge Horan also declined to order Catanzara to disavow his remarks urging members of the union not to tell the city whether they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Chicago’s FOP president John Catanzara has been barred from commenting on the city’s vaccine mandate until both sides are due back in court on October 25. YouTube Tips ⓘ

In videos posted to the police union’s social media, Catanzara called on officers to defy the vaccine mandate and warned Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other city leaders that if they went forward with the order “it’s safe to say that the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50% or less for this weekend coming up.”

Cook County Judge Horan ruled that the city had shown that Catanzara’s comments on YouTube, Fox News and on Twitter likely threatened public safety.

In a press conference about the vaccine mandate for City of Chicago employees on Thursday, October 14, 2021, the mayor and department supervisors — not department heads — advised city workers that two city portals would 1) allow employees to report to the city whether or not they had been vaccinated for COVID-19 and 2) agree to regular testing if they are not fully vaccinated. The city’s public health doctor, Allison Arwady said 6,012 Chicago residents have died to date from COVID-19, and 5,947 of those deaths, or 99%, were among Chicagoans that were not vaccinated. Dr. Arwady claimed that there have been zero deaths that the Chicago Department Public Health is aware of … and that the vaccine has not been linked to any long-term side effects. Dr. Arwady said among 6.5 billion people vaccinated worldwide, there have been no links of the vaccine to pregnancy problems or infertility problems. Dr. Arwady said, “There is a lot of noise out there.” Arwady did not mention in an FDA news release, July 13, 2021 that “analysis of Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting (VAERS) data, there have been 100 preliminary reports of GBS (Guillain-Barré Syndrome) following vaccination with the Janssen vaccine after approximately 12.5 million doses administered. Of these reports, 95 of them were serious and required hospitalization. There was one reported death.” The FDA memo described that “(a)lthough the available evidence suggests an association between the Janssen vaccine and increased risk of GBS, it is insufficient to establish a causal relationship. No similar signal has been identified with the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.”

Researchers at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine in Boca Raton, Florida in a published study claimed “to the best of our knowledge. We report the first reported case of GBS after receiving the first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.” Their study, Neurological Complications of COVID-19: Guillain-Barre Syndrome Following Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine was published in Cureus on February 13, 2021. The subject of the study was an 82 year-old female, who received her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on January 12, 2021. The patient reported generalized malaise and body aches during the first week after receiving her vaccination. However, during the second week, she had worsening symptoms and noticed increased difficulty in walking to the point where she had to use a walker for ambulation. The patient then subsequently sustained a fall due to her weakness, which prompted her visit to the emergency room. A lumbar puncture was performed and cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed albuminocytologic dissociation (protein of 88 and WBC of 4), consistent with the diagnosis of GBS. An MRI of the lumbar spine demonstrated the enhancement of cauda equina nerve roots also consistent with the diagnosis of GBS. The patient was treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), received physical therapy at the hospital, and was discharged to an acute rehabilitation facility. The patient was scheduled for follow up Nerve Conduction Study (NCS) and electromyography (EMG) to be done three to four weeks after hospital discharge. The researchers reported The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was notified about this complication associated with the vaccination.

Additionally on July 9, 2021 The Centers for Disease Control released a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) that stated “(a)n elevated risk for myocarditis among mRNA COVID-19 vaccinees has been observed, particularly in males aged 12–29 years. The release was a follow-up of an Early Release on July 6, 2021. Using myocarditis cases reported to VAERS with onset within 7 days after dose 2 of an mRNA vaccine, crude reporting rates (i.e., using confirmed and unconfirmed cases) per million second dose recipients were calculated using national COVID-19 vaccine administration data as of June 11, 2021. Myocarditis reporting rates were 40.6 cases per million second doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered to males aged 12−29 years and 2.4 per million second doses administered to males aged ≥30 years; reporting rates among females in these age groups were 4.2 and 1.0 per million second doses, respectively. The highest reporting rates were among males aged 12−17 years and those aged 18−24 years (62.8 and 50.5 reported myocarditis cases per million second doses of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine administered, respectively).

Regarding myocarditis, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued interim recommendations for their use in persons aged ≥16 years and ≥18 years, respectively. In May 2021, FDA expanded the EUA for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include adolescents aged 12–15 years; ACIP recommended that all persons aged ≥12 years receive a COVID-19 vaccine. After reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in mRNA vaccine recipients, which predominantly occurred in young males after the second dose, an ACIP meeting was rapidly convened to review reported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis and discuss the benefits and risks of mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in the United States. ACIP determined that the benefits of using mRNA COVID-19 vaccines under the FDA’s EUA clearly outweigh the risks in all populations, including adolescents and young adults. The ACIP did not make a specific recommendation regarding populations that are involved in high performance human endeavors, such as athletes, police officers, and firefighters. Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle; if it is accompanied by pericarditis, an inflammation of the thin tissue surrounding the heart (the pericardium), it is referred to as myopericarditis. Symptoms of myocarditis include shortness of breath, chest pain, decreased ability to exercise, and an irregular heartbeat. The duration of problems can vary from hours to months. Complications have included heart failure due to dilated cardiomyopathy or cardiac arrest.

Pericarditis symptoms include fever, weakness, palpitations, shortness of breath, and sudden onset of sharp chest pain, which may also be felt in the shoulders, neck, or back. Pericarditis pain is typically less severe when sitting up and more severe when lying down or breathing deeply. The severe complication of pericarditis is a medical emergency knowns as cardiac tamponade — the buildup of fluid in the pericardium (the sac around the heart), resulting in compression of the heart and the decreased ability of the heart to pump blood. Emergency treatment involves a procedure to aspirate fluid around the heart and surgery.

Myocarditis and pericarditis can also be caused by viral infections, such as adenovirus, parvovirus B19, coxsackie virus, rubella virus, polio virus, Epstein-Barr virus, hepatitis C, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in COVID-19 illness caused by the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus.

The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines approved by the FDA are synthetic messenger RNA vaccines also called mRNA vaccines. Inside the human body, mRNA enters human cells and instructs the cells to make a piece of the “spike protein” that is found on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Only part of the protein is made, a process that designers and manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines claim does not harm the vaccine recipient, but is antigenic and thus stimulates the vaccine recipient’s immune system to make antibodies that fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

There is a difference of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine technology compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA technology, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses the more traditional virus-based technology. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a disabled adenovirus to deliver the instructions instead of using mRNA.

The human immune system then recognizes the spike protein as an invader and produce antibodies against it. Later, if these antibodies encounter the actual virus, they are ready to recognize and kill the virus before it can cause illness. In some patients, this immune response can trigger autoimmune processes that lead to the production of antibodies against the myelin (insulating layer around nerves) and cause GBS.

In a City of Chicago memo dated August 25, 2021, the city defines ‘”(f)ully vaccinated’ means two weeks past the second dose of a two-dose mRNA vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) or two weeks past a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Employees will be asked to submit their proof of vaccination via a secure, online COVID-19 Vaccine Portal.”

In the press conference, Dr. Arwady claimed that “no authorized vaccine in history has been linked to adverse events that appear years after vaccination.” She added, “It is just not how vaccines work.”

Non-compliant police officers, as well as all other city employees, such as firefighters and Streets and Sanitation workers, who are scheduled to work during the upcoming weekend, will not be disciplined at least until Tuesday, October 19, 2021, according to Celia Meza Corporate Counsel and top attorney for the City of Chicago. City workers can apply for medical or religious exemptions to the mandate, which will be reviewed by city officials “on a case-by-case basis,” officials said. City workers that have not been vaccinated must undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week with tests separated between 3 to 4 days apart. City workers must obtain COVID-19 tests on their own time at their own expense, and report the results to the city. The COVID-19 test option is only available until December 31, 2021. Members of this department who refuse to comply with the requirements of the mandate may be subject to disciplinary up to and including separation.

Amid the ongoing standoff between City Hall and the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police over the city’s vaccine mandate, a Cook County judge on Friday issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting union president John Catanzara from encouraging police officers to refuse to comply with the city’s policy. YouTube Tips ⓘ


CARDINAL NEWS | Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and City Department Supervisors Support Vaccine Mandate


FDA | Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: July 13, 2021

CDC MMWR | Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine After Reports of Myocarditis Among Vaccine Recipients: Update from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices — United States, June 2021

Waheed S, Bayas A, Hindi F, Rizvi Z, Espinosa PS. Neurological Complications of COVID-19: Guillain-Barre Syndrome Following Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine. Cureus. 2021 Feb 18;13(2):e13426. doi: 10.7759/cureus.13426. PMID: 33758714; PMCID: PMC7978140.



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FOP Chicago Lodge 7 message from John Catanzara on Friday afternoon October 15, 2021.
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FOP Chicago Lodge 7 message from John Catanzara on Friday morning October 15, 2021. YouTube Tips ⓘ

FOP Chicago Lodge 7 message from John Catanzara on Thursday morning October 14, 2021. YouTube Tips ⓘ

FOP Chicago Lodge 7 message from John Catanzara on Tuesday morning October 12, 2021. YouTube Tips ⓘ

FOP Chicago Lodge 7 message from John Catanzara on Friday October 8, 2021. YouTube Tips ⓘ

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